Monthly Archives: March 2017

What Would It Mean If Texas Decriminalized Marijuana?

If House Bill 81 becomes law, marijuana advocates in Texas will have achieved their greatest victory yet – statewide decriminalization of the drug. Shaun McAlister, the leader of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) believes that the political and social climate is now in a place where the change has a real shot at making it through the House and Senate. Others, like retired Texas Department…
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Texas DWI FAQ, Part 4: How Much Does a DWI Cost Me?

Simply put – DWIs are expensive. There are several financial costs associated with drunk driving convictions, the most obvious of which is fines. Your first offense can cost up to $2,000 from the fine alone. A second offense can run you $4,000, and a third can result in a steep $10,000 charge. And those are just the fines – there are plenty of other hidden costs associated with DWI. For example, you will have to…
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Texas DWI FAQ, Part 3: DWI Myths Busted

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions regarding DWI charges in Texas. For this week’s DWI FAQ blog, we will bust some of these myths. Myth: You must answer the police officer’s questions. Fact: This could not be further from the truth. You have a right to protection against self-incrimination and a right to remain silent. You are not legally required to speak to a police officer. In fact, it’s often best to keep…
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Are You Allowed to Video Record Cops during a Traffic Stop?

Everyone these days has a high-definition camera in their pocket. Some people use these to record police interactions, an action that sometimes agitates the cops. But cameras are a valuable tool to make sure people preserve their rights – and one North Carolina lawyer was sure to remind cops of this fact. The lawyer was pulled over by police while driving a passenger for Uber in late February. The police officer who pulled him over…
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Cyberbullying: A Class A Misdemeanor?

Cyberbullying has become more common in the United States, spurred on by the rise of the Internet. Two bills, one in the Texas House and one in the Texas Senate, aim to end cyberbullying by increasing the penalties for it. The Senate bill, known colloquially as David’s Law, was written in response to the death of 16-year-old David Molak. Molak committed suicide after facing online harassment due to his leukemia. The law would require school…
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Texas DWI FAQ, Part 3: Do I Have to Submit to a Breathalyzer?

Texas’ implied consent law requires drivers to submit to breath or blood tests when suspected of DWI. Of course, you can still refuse, but if you do, you will have your license suspended automatically for 180 days (or more, depending on whether this is your first offense). So, should you refuse a breath test if you think it’s likely that you will blow a .08 or higher? The PBT Officers will sometimes ask you to…
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Texas DWI FAQ, Part 2: Can I Say No to Field Sobriety Tests?

The Standardized Field Sobriety Test is a series of tasks police officers like to use when a person is suspected of drunk driving. It consists of three parts: The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, where the officer checks the driver’s eyes for jagged, erratic movement The Walk and Turn, where the officer asks the driver to walk in a straight line, turn, and walk back The One Leg Stand, where the driver is asked to stand…
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Raising the Age of Responsibility in Texas

In Texas, a 17-year-old is considered an adult for the purposes of the criminal system. Because of this, there is a problem within the criminal justice system – a disconnect between how 17-year-olds are generally treated in society and how, despite that, they must face adult sentences and punishments for some crimes, such as drug crimes. Should the age of responsibility be raised? In 2015, more than 22,000 17-year-olds were arrested in Texas. Those who…
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Texas DWI FAQ, Part 1: How Many Drinks Does It Take to Get to .08 BAC?

In Texas, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, is 0.08 percent (this may change if the National Transportation Safety Board gets its way – they have been advocating lowering the limit to 0.05). This means that if you have more than 0.08% BAC, you can be arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). A common question we hear is, how much can you drink before you cross the line? The science…
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